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“Never again”
Review of Old Black Horse

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Old Black Horse
Ranked #37 of 44 Hotels in Oxford
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Never again”
Reviewed August 14, 2011

This basil Fawlty look good! First impression it was dark and gloomy inside, we were then shown to "our" room. there was a nightie on the bed, we then noticed shoes, a suitcase, clothes in the wardrobe and personal items in the bathroom, we were in some one elses room.
The guy on duty apologised and showed us to the "annexxe", a self catering flat in the car park.
The tea bags, were over a year out of date, it was filthy and the bedding smelt damp.
However the breakfast was ok, but we have had much better less greasy food.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jaksjaks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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102 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2011

Two nights in this place was more than enough!

On arrival you have to check in at the bar, which is a little annoying while the staff are serving drinks to customers and then you have to give your private details to the staff in earshot of strangers!

The stairs up to the rooms are rickety and old and the smell is dreadful with a carpet to match. On arrival in the small family room was surprised at the clean bathroom and bedding. There are tea making facilities which is basically a kettle!! There was no sugar, tea bags, and only two sachets of coffee, which meant the three of us could share a black coffee if we we were desperate!!!

Although the bathroom was clean the shower had a mind of it's own, as in other reviews ran cold, we complained and were told to let it run and eventually it did warm up, so if you're in a hurry for a shower be warned!!!

Breakfast was served for just The One Hour, from 7.30 - 8.30, not what you want if you're on a midweek break and don't want to wake at the crack of dawn, wait for a cold shower to rush down for a meagre breakfast. The dining room is the drabbest place I've ever eaten in and in the words of my husband was like "being in a huge coffin"' very very very grim!

My friend asked for poached eggs on toast, and got just the one slice of toast with two eggs, and the pot of tea he asked for he never got! the full English was ok, but bacon dry and salty. The cereal selection was minimal, and the whole thing was very rushed. One foreign student serving all tables and obviously not that au fait with English! the leather sofa was all ripped as were some of the dining chairs. It was very hot in here too, an uncomfortable squashed place to eat, so be warned.

The beer was also warm, not something you want on a hot day, and the staff didn't seem bothered about this when told either.

For us the only good thing about this place was that it was within walking distance of the college. Would not stay here again and if you've read this review take my advice and carry on googling, wish I had now. In fact the Redmont down the road looks far better and is cheaper!!!!

Room Tip: Google Another Hotel, You'll Be Glad You Did!
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Bowler18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Oxford hotels

England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
80 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2011

The Old Black Horse is an over-priced B&B, shabbily furnished and urgently in need of a major make-over.

This, in my view, is precisely the kind of place that leaves foreigners complaining that accommodation in the UK is expensive and of poor quality, and makes Britons wish that they had taken a trip abroad instead of visiting one of England's historic cities.

Somehow - and I really do not understand how this can be the case - the Old Black Horse advertises that the property is rates as four star accommodation by Visit England. Surely the Visit England team has to get along here and check that out, otherwise questions have to be raised about the quality of the ratings system and/or the ability of hotels and B&Bs to advertise using those stars.

Based upon my experience (in June 2011) and decor and size of the room I stayed in, I would warn people to steer well clear of the Old Black Horse.

The carpets leading up from the bar to the bedrooms is threadbare and creates a strong first impression that this place is in need of a good clean.

The wallpaper in my very small room was peeling from the walls in places, the remote control for the television was missing, the paint on the door frame was chipped and peeling, the frame of the bed rocked very time I moved, the lighting was poor and, all told, it created a very sorry impression. Had I not been so exhausted, I would have gone elsewhere.

Be warned. The property itself looks great from outside and on photographs posted on the internet. Even the reviews on the Old Black Horse website read positively. Yes, the black timber frame building looks quaint and its long history as a coaching inn means it has an interesting heritage likely to appeal. Yes, the internet site makes the place sound wonderful. But be warned, based upon my experiences, the reality was a negative experience.

It is advertised that the internet is accessible in the rooms but I did all I could to minimise my time in the room, so did not check that it worked.

With investment in the property, this could be a winning venue. The location of this B&B and the building itself means it could probably be something special. However, as it is (in the summer of 2011) I suggest you look elsewhere instead for a place to stay.

As for the positives, the English breakfast tastes fine but the breakfast room down in the pub has a subdued feel.

I cannot recommend this place to you and would strongly recommend that, until improvements in the decor and ambiance are made, you look elsewhere. I really do rate this as the worst place I have stayed in the UK for many years.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Stuart F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2011

Room smelled of cigarettes. Disgusting stains on the carpet. Abutting the front yard of the pub and the road, so obnoxiously loud until very late. Shower ran alternating twenty-second bursts of hot and cold water. No Internet provided in the room. Staff generally unhelpful and at times quite rude. A TRUE RIP-OFF.

Room Tip: The best room is a room in another inn.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TarquinTar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2011

If you are visiting Oxford, the location of this hotel is fantastic. Upon arrival at the hotel, the gentleman behind the bar was very pleasant, friendly, polite and helpful. The hotel in general is not very clean, and there is entertainment often available at the bar. It's not a bad place for a young group to stay if visiting l for a night out though, as all you really need in that eventuality is a place to crash out at the end of the night.

Unfortunately, I have more bad things to say about this hotel, than I have good. I paid £90 for one night at the hotel for a double room for my partner and myself. The room was very small and rather 'dated'. One of the doors from a chest of drawers had fallen off, leaving a dangerous 2inch screw sticking out into the small space between the bed and chest. The bed was a junior double, and every spring could be felt through the mattress. It was pretty uncomfortable to say the least! The tv in the room was a traditional portable, which lost it's volume after being on for a short while. Shame really, as we were quite enjoying the film we were watching! Also I couldn't get hot water out of the shower. I expected a hearty breakfast in the morning, cooked with local produce, but instead was treated to one of the poorest offerings I've ever had at any hotel. Not enough choice on offer,(no cereal was offered, etc), and not enough food on the plate, one of the girls looked quite miserable and couldn't really follow simple requests for a pot of coffee or a glass of orange juice. At £90 a night, this hotel is not up to standard in comparison to others I've visited in the area. I'm sorry, a lovely guy owns the place, but it's not worth the money charged. I didn't make any complaints as I chose to accept it as it was and just wanted to get on with the rest of my weekend with my partner

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank blabkpool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
54 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2011

We chose this hotel for a short weekend break in Oxford. Not a cheap city to stay in, the Old Black Horse was reasonable and looked inviting from the photo. The Trip Advisor reviews were very mixed but we decided to take a chance. Big mistake.

There is no separate hotel reception - you have to go into the pub to check in. The staff were not very welcoming and did not seem to know what they were doing. Our room was OK but very hot, with no way of turning the heating down.

But here is the thing. Other reviews about the showers are spot on. We turned the hot water on but the shower was stone cold. We reported it to the lady who was doing breakfasts and she said that she would check it whilst we were out and report it to the manager if we could not get it working. We arrived back to the hotel at 5pm and the shower was still not hot, depsite leaving the water on hot all day. I went to the bar and the manager had no idea about the problem - 'no one told me'. Well, we needed a shower, so I asked if we could move to another room -the manager told his colleague to put us into one of the apartments. We were initially pleased because we had a self contained space which did stink of stale cigaretttes but at least the shower - which I checked - appeared to be hot. However...

Once we moved into the apartment, a knock came at the door - a stranger asking whether the plumber was with us. Then the manager appeared to announce that the boiler in the apartment was on the blink and that a plumber would shortly be arriving to have a look at it before going to our original room. To cut a very long story short, there was no hot water in the apartment either because a part needed for the boiler was not available. We complained to the manager for not telling us this before moving us. He turned the boiler up and said that 'hopefully' it should work - we were not convinced and told him that 'hopefully' was just not good enough.

The hot water was very intermittent - basically it ran warm for about five seconds and then ran stone cold. We were reduced to boiling water in a kettle and washing ourselves from the sink. Absolutely outrageous. On the Sunday morning we did not bother going down for breakfast, we just packed up and left.

We do alot of travelling, and this is probably the worst hotel we have ever stayed in. At all costs, stay away - budget to spend a bit more money on your accomodation in Oxford, because this dive is just not worth it. How it got four stars beggars belief.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank indiehotel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham
Level Contributor
156 reviews
115 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 269 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2011

Truly awful place. We were asked for payment even before seeing the shabby room (No.2). The place needs a complete and total refurb. £95 a night is a total rip-off!

Flat batteries in tv remote.
Drinking areas inhabited by drunken, foul-mouthed regulars.
Shower ran barely lukewarm and just a trickle of water.
The free Wi-Fi was not even connected and working.
Room hasn't been updated for around 40 years. Old, ugly built in cupboard and ancient radiators that looked as if they'd been plumbed in by Stevie Wonder.
Only one person serving and cooking breakfasts in the mornings. Had to wait for ages in the dilaphidated, yet super-heated 'breakfast area' to be finally served. All the other guests were complaining.
Hotel fronts the main road and the racket of traffic and drunken students through to the early hours, makes sleep virtually impossible.

Hotel is situated around a 15 minute walk into the main academic area of Oxford, but the only other plus is that there's a car park to the rear. My advice: go elsewhere!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank trev2906
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Old Black Horse

Property: Old Black Horse
Address: 102 St. Clements Street, Oxford OX4 1AR, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Oxford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #37 of 44 Hotels in Oxford
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Old Black Horse 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Old Black Horse Oxford
Old Black Horse Hotel Oxford

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